The Signal

Serving the College since 1885

Monday April 15th

Men’s swimming and diving’s record breaking meet propels them to NJAC Championship victory

<p><em>The College in a diving event (Photo courtesy of Elizabeth Gladstone / Multimedia Coordinator).</em></p>

The College in a diving event (Photo courtesy of Elizabeth Gladstone / Multimedia Coordinator).

By Brenden Kelley
Staff Writer

The men’s swimming and diving team's dominant season continued last weekend at the four-day New Jersey Athletic Conference Championship meet that began on Feb. 15. The Lions dominated the meet, as eight school records were broken, and Lions placed first in 15 events and finished in the top three 21 times.

The first day of the meet saw the Lions make an early splash with the 200-yard medley relay. The relay team, composed of sophomore Andrew Kidchob, junior Ryan VanDeVeen and seniors James McChesney and Dixon Kahler, broke the program record with a time of 1:28.63 en route to a first place finish that saw them beat the United States Merchant Marine Academy by less than four tenths of a second. 

The 800-yard freestyle relay again saw the Lions come out on top, beating the competition by six seconds.

Friday saw the Lions continue their dominant streak with five first place finishes and multiple record breaking events.

Sophomore Gavin Formon had a great day, taking first place in the 500-yard freestyle. Formon was able to secure his first individual NJAC gold medal with the win.

McChesney took home the 50-yard freestyle with a time of 19.88.

Junior Ryan Higgins had a fantastic day on Friday, winning his first individual NJAC title in the 200-yard individual medley. Higgins broke the school record for that event, with a time of 1:47.82. 

The last event of the second day saw the Lions place first again on the back of a record breaking performance by the 400-yard medley relay team. The relay team included Kidchob, VanDeVeen, McChesney and sophomore Richard Park. The record time was 3:15.73.

Junior Ethan Weiss had a great performance on the board Friday, winning the 1-meter dive championship with a score of 461.65.

Saturday saw the men’s team continue to dominate, with the Lions winning three events and placing on the podium multiple times. 

Higgins had a phenomenal day, setting another program record with a time of 3:50.53 in the 400-yard individual medley. Formon placed second in the race with a time of 3:55.48. 

McChesney came within a second of breaking his own Division III 200-yard freestyle record with a time of 1:35.95 in his first place finish, the College’s second of the day.

VanDeVeen broke the program record in the 100-yard breaststroke with a time of 54.39 in another first place finish for the Lions.

Kidchob had two podium finishes Saturday, one in the 100-yard butterfly and the other in the 100-yard backstroke. 

The last day of the NJAC Championship meet saw the Lions break three more records to officially bring home the title for the third year in a row. Gavin Formon broke his own school record in the 1650-yard freestyle with a time of 15:32.88 en route to another first place finish for the Lions.

Higgins' exceptional weekend continued on Sunday with him breaking the 200-yard backstroke school record with a time of 1:45.88. Junior Andrew Walter also placed on the podium with a time of 1:51.19. 

VanDeVeen broke the 200-yard breaststroke program record with a time of 1:58.76. Junior Shawn Kushner had a podium finish, with a time of 2:01.11.

The Lions ended the meet with a big first place finish in the 400-freestyle relay, with a time of 3:00.30. 

The Lions were able to cruise past their competition, finishing with a score of 1564 points, 187 more than second place.

With the NJAC Championship meet over, the Lions’s postseason continues with NCAA Diving Regionals, which take place March 1 and 2.

Editor's Note: A few inaccuracies were updated. McChesney won the 50-yard freestyle, not Formon. Higgins won the 200-yard individual medley with a time of 1:47.82, not his preliminary time of 1:49.97, and he won the 400-yard individual medley with a time of 3:50.53, not his preliminary time of 3:52.47. Also, Ethan Weiss' name was misspelled as Wiess.


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